[or rather Cos, as it is usually written] (Κῶς, contracted for Κόως, Anglicized "Coos" only in Ac 21:1), a small island (about 80 stadia in circumference, Strabo 10:488), one of the Sporades, in the AEgean Sea, near the coast of Caria in Asia Minor, and almost between the promontories on which the cities Cnidus and Halicarnassus were situated (Pliny v. 36). Its more ancient names were Cea, Staphylus, Nymphcea, and Meropis, of which the last was the most common (Thucyd. 8:41). Homer mentions it as a populous settlement (Il. 2:184; 14:255), no doubt of Dorian origin. Its fertility is attested by its celebrity for wine (Pliny 15:18; 17:30), its costly ointments (Athen. 15:688), and its fabrics of a transparent texture (Horace, Od. 4:13, 7; Tibull. 2:4, 6). It was the birthplace of Hippocrates. "It is specified, in the edict which resulted from the communications of Simon Maccabeus with Rome, as one of the places which contained Jewish residents (1 Maccabees 15:23). Josephus, quoting Strabo, mentions that the Jews had a great amount of treasure stored there during the Mithridatic war (Ant. 14:7, 2). From the same source we learn that Julius Caesar issued an edict in favor of the Jews of Cos (ib. 10, 15). Herod the Great conferred many favors on the island (Joseph. War, 1:21, 11); and an inscription in Bockh (No. 2502) associates it with Herod the Tetrarch. The apostle Paul, on the return from his third missionary journey, passed the night here, after sailing from Miletus. The next day he went on to Rhodes (Ac 21:1). The proximity of Cos to these two important places, and to Cnidus, and its position at the entrance to the Archipelago from the east, made it an island of considerable consequence. It was celebrated also for a temple of AEsculapius, to which a school of physicians was attached, and which was virtually, from its votive models, a museum of anatomy and pathology. The emperor Claudius bestowed upon Cos the privileges of a free state (Tac. Ann. 12:61). The chief town (of the same name) was on the N.E., near a promontory called Scandarium, and perhaps it is to the town that reference is made in the Acts (l. c.)" (Smith). It is now called Stazco or Stanchio (a corruption of +ἐς τὰν Κῶ), and presents to the view fine plantations of lemon-trees, intermixed with stately maples. Its population is about eight thousand, who mostly profess the Greek religion (Turner's Tour in the Levant, 3, 41). "There is a monograph on Cos by Kiuster (De Co Insula, Halle, 1833), and a very useful paper on the subject by Col. Leake (in the Trans. of the Royal Soc. of Literature, vol. 1, second series). An account of the island will be found in Clarke's Travels (vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 196-213, and vol. 2, pt. 2, p. 321-333); but the best description is in Ross (Reisen nach Kos, Halicarnassus, u. w. Halle, 1852, with which his Reisen auf den Griech. Insein should be compared, vol. 2. [1843], p. 86-l2; vol. 3. [1845], p. 126-139)" (Smith). See also the Penny Cyclopaedia and Smith's Dict. of Class. Geogr. s.v. Cos.

Bible concordance for COOS.

Definition of coo

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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